A Revolutionary Concept, Evidence & its Therapeutic potential.
Dr K M Nishanth
A clinical study was undertaken to ascertain antioxidant nature of homoeopathic medicine, which yielded promising results. Modern medical research has been quoted as evidence in their support. Free radicals are notorious substance produced in the cell, which damages normal healthy cells, causing cellular dysfunction and cellular death. Thus free radicals lay the foundation of sickness (miasm) and antioxidants erases the miasm. Anti0xidants are now widely accepted as antichronic disease as well as antiageing factor. This study aims to open the treasure of homoeopathic antioxidants for more detailed research.
The recognition of organic free radicals by Gomberg in 1900 and subsequent development in the realm of free radicals has substantial y contributed to medical science, for the whole new concept which indicates a possible contributing cause for chronic disease and its chronicity. T.F.slater one of the pioneer in this field suggested significant tissue injury in disease is brought about by free radicals. (i)
Free radicals are chemical species possessing unpaired electron that can be considered as fragments of molecules and which are generally very reactive. They are continuously produced in the cell as by products of cellular metabolism, either accidentally or deliberately. (2)
When free radicals are present in large numbers, they go on a rampage and damage normal healthy cells, laying the foundation of sickness. (Psora, syphilis, sycosis.) The presence of excessive amount of free a radical is called ” oxidative stress “. Oxygen is the most important source of Free radicals although most of the oxygen is excreted as Co2 other sources of Free Radicals include environment al pollutants, cigarette smoke, UV rays, drugs, pesticides etc.
Free radicals can disturb biological systems by damaging their major constituent molecules -lipids (polysaturated fatty acids). Proteins, carbohydrates and DNA. Free radicals attack the Polyunsaturated Fatty acids (PUFAS) present within the cell membrane and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles. This is known as lipid oxidation (lipid peroxidation) as a result the structural integrity of the cell membrane is lost. Which, ultimately leads to cell injury and cell death. (fig.no.1) Similarly free radicals also damage the DNA present in the nucleus of the cell. Daily the DNA of each cell is attacked by free radicals about 10,000 times! This can leap to mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. . But to defend these injuries, cells are in possession of enzymes and compounds to scavenge these free radicals known as antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent damage induced by free radicals and play a very crucial role in preventing or delaying the onset of disease. Possibly in chronic disease homoeopathic medicine enhances the scavengers (antioxidants) to minlmise the cellular injury brought about by free radicals in pathogenesis of vast number of pathological conditions like atherosclerosis (4), cataract, ageing (3), cerebro & cardiovascular disorders (4), Diabetes Mellitus (5), hepatocellular injury (6), skin disease, carcinoma (26). Etc.
A more detailed discussion of free radical biochemistry can be found in several excellent book on the subject.(7-10). There are a number of homoeopathic medicines where the active constituents of the medicine are scavengers (Antioxidant substances shown elsewhere in this paper). Many a homoeopathic medicine has flavones(11) as their constituent (crategeus, chelidonium, avena sativa) flavones are coined as antioxidants but the true nature and specific flavones are yet to be established.
Antioxidants (Only a few important antioxidants are mentioned here)
|01.||Carotene (constituent of Calendula & Capsicum)||Protection against
Carcinoma lung, cervix
|02.||Ascorbic acid (constituent of Capsicum)||Ascorbic acid (constituent of capsicum) An ideal electron donor reducing superoxide,
Hydroxyl radicals, Hypochlorus acid & other reactive oxidants from activated Micro /
Plmonary antioxidant defence against smoking etc.
|03.||Copper (Cuprum metallicum)||Essential constituent of superoxide dismutase. (a potent antioxidant enzyme)
Major component of caeroloplasmin (Antioxidant)
|04.||Zinc(Zincum metallicum)||Essential component of superoxide dismutase|
|05.||Selenium (Also constituent of Agaricus muscarius)||Essential constituent of glutathione peroxide. First line antiperoxidatonn defense.|
|06.||Silymarin & Silybin (constituent of Carduus)||Inhibits lipid peroxidation|
|07.||Lycopin(constituent of calendula off.)||Systemic antioxidant.|
Method & Material:
In Nambison’ s Homoeo chamber 35 Patients (12 acute & 23 Chronic in nature) were selected to be treated with Homoeopathic Antioxidants Some knowingly & some unknowingly.
Local antioxidant: Local antioxidant was directed to be applied on the affected part after thorough washing of the part with water, and then medicine was to be painted 2-3 Times a day.
Systemic antioxidant was directed to be taken 15-20 drops in half cup of Luke Warm water 3 times a day. (Dose was titrated according to the prevailing Condition.)
Thorough surfing of homoeopathic literature was done to find out their active constituents and antioxidant nature, and then they were applied on sick due to their antioxidant nature and on some red line Indication.
Pre and post therapeutic evaluation was done on the clinical improvement and in some cases pathological investigations were done to ascertain improvement
Homoeopathic medicine their Antioxidant constituents & Nature. (11)
|01.||Agaricus muscarius||Selenium||Cerebro-vascular Antioxidant|
|02.||Calendula off||Carotene, Lycopin (2)||Local & systemic Antioxidant|
|03.||Carduus mar||Silymarin (23) Silybin (24)||Hepatic Antioxidant|
|04.||Capsicum||Ascorbic acid, Carotinoids||Systemic & local Antioxidant|
|05.||Fucus ves.||Carotene||Systemic Antioxidant|
|06.||Cuprum met.||Cu (Element)||Cerebro-vascular Antioxidant|
|07.||Selenium||Se (Element)||Cerebro-vascular Antioxidant|
|08.||Zincum met.||Zn (Element)||Cerebro-vascular Antioxidant|
Out of many known Homoeopathic Antioxidants only a few are being mentioned here, Calendula and Carduus marianus needs no say for their therapeutic potential as they have been used successfully over the years. Others being cerebro-vascular antioxidants had very limited scope in my study due to limited number of patients. But their antioxidant nature has been explained and supported with evidence.
Capsicum annum: (Systemic & Local antioxidant.)
Capsicum has ascorbic acid (0.1-0.5 %) (12) and carotinoids as its Active constituent. By the virtue of these capsicum acts as a potent Local as well as a systemic antioxidant.
Action as Local Antioxidant & Anti-inflammatory: -Locally capsicum Q should strictly be used in closed lesions since it produces deleterious effect in open lesion.
Used in following indication: (12 cases)
(a) Induration where suppuration was imminent.-7 cases
(b) Lesions of herpes zoster: -2 cases
(c) Lymphangitis: -3 cases
In all above cases capsicum Q considerably reduced pain and inflammation, had a soothing effect and brought about speedy recovery; possibly lessening Free radical mediated tissue injury.
Action as systematic Antioxidant: Capsicum Q & 6 CH was used in total – 23 cases of gastritis & Reflux oesophagitis.
(a) Cases in which endoscopies were done: 2 cases
(b) Cases of allied symptoms like precordial pain, heaviness & in right arm heart burn: 7 cases.
(c) Cases with raised serum cholesterol: 17 cases.
(d) Cases where patient were obese (BMI > 30) with weight above 70kgs -17 cases.
(e) Most of the patients were sedentary people (Businessmen, Officers and Retd. Personals.)
Fact, which was revealed during the course of treatment, was that (9) out of (17) patients with high serum cholesterol came within normal limit during the course of treatment, although initial fluctuation was noted. (Fig no: 2)
Along with capsicum other intercurrent remedies were used, wherever it called for. Capsicum has ascorbic acid and carotinoids as its chief constituent and ascorbic acid has been shown to substantially reduce risk for all causes of death. All cancers and cardio-vascular disorders. (4- 21)
Another study shows that combination of Vitamin C & Carotinoids (which are shown to be present in Capsicum.) Plus Vitamin E is first step towards IHD (Ischeamic heart disease) prevention and cure. Logically aiming at multirisk factor in the multifactorial multistage IHD so in this study it is evident that capsicum reduces the risk of CVD, IHD & Cerebro-Vascular Disorders by effectively bringing down the level of serum cholesterol thus reducing the risk of free radical mediated injury to gastric mucosa & other vital organs.
Fucus vesiculosus: (systemic antioxidant)Fucus ves Q was used in cases of Hypothyroidism although indication given in Materia Medica favours its use for Hyperthyroidism. Since Fucus Ves Q has high levels of iodine (11), which acts as replacement therapy in Hypothyroidism.
Diagnostic test :- T3, T4, TSH
Total number of hypothyroid cases: – 9
Breakthrough achieved in 1 case in which lady Mrs. A. D. 46 year’s patient of Hypothyroidism who had to take Thyroxine 100 mcg twice daily was prescribed fucus ves q along with thyroxine, the dosage of Thyroxine was brought down to Thyroxine 50 mcg daily with considerable weight reduction of 15 kgs and marked improvement in allied symptoms. In other cases although symptomatic relief was obtained. Dosage of Thyroxine could not be brought down.
Fucus ves Q contains – carotene and research shows carotene is first line Antioxidant defence. (14-21). There fore, Fucus Ves Q significantly reduces the free radical mediated tissue injury in patients of Hypothyroidism & its complication.
Calendula: (Systemic & Local Antioxitant) (13)
Calendula contains carotene & Lycopin both are essential radical scavengers, (2) which reduces free radical mediated tissue injury. Calendula is a remarkable healing agent; in wounds delayed healing occurs due to repeated free radical mediated tissue injury at the site of wound. Thus application of calendula hastens the process of healing and works wonders.
Carduus marianus: (Hepatic Antioxidant)
Over the years Carduus Mar Q has been used as Homoeopathic hepatic tonic but only recently it became evident that its two major components protects liver from oxidative damage. In recent research it was found that Silymarin & Silybin (constituent of carduus) protects against hepatic Lipid per oxidation & irreversible damage induced by acute ethanol intoxication in rats (23.24).
Agaricus muscarius & selenium: -
Agaricus contains Selenium and Selenium deficiency is known for Nutritional muscular dystrophy (NMD) (2), which is oxidant stress mediated. Hence both the above Homoeopathic medicine could be used in NMD to curb the oxidant stress.
Antioxidants were discovered long ago in 1900 but its medical Application has only recently drawn attention. Although Homoeopathic literature harbours and confirms Antioxidant nature of Homoeopathic medicines. This paper attempts to confirm it and shows a possible mode of action. Antimiasmatic nature of Antioxidant is obvious by its potential to prevent and / or cure Chronic diseases like Metabolic disorders, Cardio-Vascular disorders , Essential Hypertension, Cerebro-Vascular disorders (Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease etc. ) , Cataract, Carcinomatosis etc. For authenticity more research is needed to use Homoeopathic medicine as specifically preventive against IHD, CVD, Carcinoma and other chronic diseases.
The author likes to take this opportunity to heartily thank Dr.S.K.Mishra (Principal & Superintendent; Govt. Auto Homeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Bhopal (M.P) INDIA for his continuous encouragement and moral support. Author also likes to thank all those involved in the study either directly or indirectly. Last but not the least author is highly indebted to his mentor and father Dr.K.M.V.Nambisan for his able guidance.
(1) slater t f , free radical mechanisms in tissue injury. London:pion Press, 1972.
(2) cheeseman k h ; slater t f ,(eds) , free radicals in medicine; vol 49 no. 3, churchill livingstone, singapore; 1993.pp 481-482.
(3) lippman r d. Free radical-induced lipidperoxidation and aging. In :miquel j,quint anillia at, weber h, eds. ,handbook of free radicals and Antioxidants in biomedicine, vol i.crc press 1980 ; pp187-197 .
(4) demopoulos h b , flamm e s , pietronigro d d, seligman m l .the free Radical pathology and the microcirculation in the major central nervous System disorders. Acta physiol scand ,1,980;492 :91-119.
(5) wolff s~. The potential role of oxidative stress in diabetes and its Complications: novel implications for theory and therapy. In crabbe, mjc , Ed, diabetic complications: scientific and clinical aspects. London: Churchill livingstone, 1987:ppi67-200 .
(6) dianzani mu, poll g. Lipid peroxidation andhaloalkylation in ccl4- Induced liver injury. In: poll g, cheeseman kh, dianzani mu, slatertf, eds. Free radicals in liver injury. Oxford; irl perss, 1985; pp149-158
(7) halliwell b gutterridge jmc .free radicals in biology and Medicine. Oxford: clarendon, 1989.
(8)sies h. Oxidative stress. London: academic press, 1985.
(9) sies h. Oxidative s1ress: oxidants & antioxidants .london:academic.1991.
(10)willett wc , macmohan b. Diet & cancer-an overview. N engl j med 1984.
(11)homoeopathic repetitorium;1987 ed; dr.willmar schwabe gmbh & co; Karlsruhe/west germany; 1987.
(12)handa ss , kapoor vk ; pharmacognosy lied. V allabh prakation su 221,pitampura delm-34;1995. ..
(13)dowlinq ej , claxson a w , mapp pi et al.a study of recombinant Manganesesuperoxide dismut ase in experimental inflama tion. Br j rheum 1991;30 (abstr suppl 2);142.
(14)di mascio p. Murphy me, sies h. Antioxidant defense systems: me Role of carotenoids, tocopherols, and thiols. Am j clin nutr 191:53: 1945-200s.
(15) gey kf. St ahelin hb, eicffilllzer m.poor plasma status if vitamin c And carotene is associated with mortality from ischemic heart disease and Stroke: prospective basel study. Clin invesngatori992.
(16) gaziano 1m, manson je, ridker pm, buring je, hennekens ch. Beta- Carotene merepy for chronic stable angina. Circulanon 82(suppl. Iii : 201) Abstract 0796,1990.
(17) menken ms, comstock gw, vullleumler jp, et al. Serum bet a- Carotene, vitamins a and e, selenium, and me risk of lung cencer, n engl j Med 1986; 315: 1250-1254.
(18) wald nj, thompson sg, densemjw, borehamj, baileya. Serum beta- Carotene and subsequent risk of cancer: results from me bupa study. Br j Cancer 1988; 56:69-72. .
(19) orentreich n, manas jr, vogelman jh, salkeld rm, bhaga van h, Friedman gd. Me predicnve value of serum /3-carotene for subsequent Development of lung cencer nutrcancer 1991; 16: 167-176.
(20) comstock gw, bush tl, holklsouer k. Serum retinol, beta-carotene , vitamin e and selenium as related to subsequent cancer of specific sites. Am j epidemiol 1992; 135: 115-121.
(21) greenberg er, baron ja. Stukel ta. Et al. A clinical trial of beta-Carotene to prevent basal-cell and squamous cell cancers of me skin. N Engljmed 1990; 323: 789-795.
(22) steinberg d. Summary of me proceedings of a nhlbi workshop :’antioxidants in me prevention of human amero sclerosis’. September 5-6, 1991-bemesda md. Circulanon 1992; 85: 2338-2344.
(23)v alenzuela a. Lagos c, sclllmdt k, videla la. Sil ymarin protection Against hepanc lipid peroxidanon induced by acute ethanol intoxication in Rat. Biochempharmacol 1985; 34; 2209-2212.
(24)carini r, comoglio a. Albano e, poll g. Lipid peroxidanon and Irreriversffile damage in me rat hepatocyte model. Protecllon by sil ybin- Phospholipid complex idb 1016. Biochem pi’iarmacol 1992;43;2111-2115.
(25)bradley r, fell bf. Myopathies in animals. In: walton in,ed. Disorders Of vol.ountary muscle, 4th edn. London: churchill livingstone, 1980:pp824-872.
(26) weitzman sa. Dordon li. Inflammation and cancer: role of Phagocyte -generated oxidants in carcinogenesis. Blood 1990.
Govt. Homeopathic Medical College, Bhopal (M.P)
Chief Research Consultant, Society Of Advanced Homeopathic Medical Sciences, Bhopal
149, T-2; MOHINI APTS, INDRAPURI, BHOPAL (M.P) – 462021
+91 755 2758520 (R); +91 9826280555 (M)